By Mark Kersteen - July 21st, 2014

Last week, we asked over 170 marketers which channels they were confident in, which they weren’t, and which they were able to deliver consistent messages over. Here are our findings:

Which of the following marketing channels are you most confident that you’re using effectively?

Most Confident Marketing Cha

Traditional (television, print, radio, outdoor display etc.): 28.49%
Digital (websites, blogs, banner ads, pre- and post-roll ads etc.): 30.23%
Social (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.): 30.81%
Mobile (mobile sites, applications, SMS messages, location-based offers etc.): 4.65%
Other (Please specify): 5.81%

Which of the following channels do you feel the least confident about using effectively?

Least Confident Marketing Ch

Traditional: 25.29%
Digital: 12.35%
Social: 25.88%
Mobile: 35.29 %
Other: 1.18%

Which channels do you feel confident that you’re able to deliver consistent, unified marketing messages over at the same time?

Channels With Consistent Mes

Traditional: 38.24%
Digital: 56.47%
Social: 44.12%
Mobile: 15.88%
Other: 3.53%

A Three Way Tie, With Mobile in Dead Last

Marketers were almost equally split three ways over which channels they were the most confident in: traditional, digital, and social. There is going to be an overlap between all three—I doubt many marketers don’t have at least some experience in each—but it’s still surprising that things worked out so evenly. When we looked into our results further, we found that the marketers who were confident in digital or social weren’t as confident in traditional channels, and vice-versa. Are we seeing a divide among marketers—are they becoming increasingly specialized into digital and non-digital roles? We’d also be curious to find out how much of this divide is along lines of age and experience. Are marketers gravitating towards the newer, buzzier digital side at the expense of still-vital traditional marketing practices?

Mobile, across every question we asked, fared poorly. Over a third of marketers said it was the platform they felt the least confident in, while only 4.65% said it was the platform they were most confident in, and only 15.88% of marketers included it among the channels they felt they could deliver consistent messages across. What gives? Sure, mobile is the newest, and often cited as the least-understood, channel. But these numbers are dire. The Wall Street Journal published an article today on the state of mobile advertising citing statistics from eMarketer. Their report predicts that spending on mobile ads will rise 83% in 2014.  As we recently pointed out, mobile is a game-changer for marketers. Clearly, there’s a huge incentive to crack this channel. The technology is rapidly advancing, but the techniques are not. The first marketers to fully exploit the platform where Americans spend 2 hours of their day and open over 51% of their emails are going to majorly disrupt the industry. It’s only a matter of time.

Marketer' wariness of the mobile channel explains why it holds sway over fewer ad dollars compared to its relative share of Americans' media consumption. According to the eMarketer study, mobile controls 9.8% of all ad dollars, but occupies about 25% of Americans' time spent consuming media, while as a comparison newspapers control 10% while occupying 2% of their time. Once marketers become more comfortable with mobile, we have no doubt that things will even out, and mobile will take an equivalent share of the market.

When it comes to consistency, digital clearly wins out. Again, is this because marketers are putting a disproportionate amount of energy in this area, or is it inherent in the channel itself? We’d guess a bit of column A, a bit of column B. Copy + Paste does help quite a bit with keeping your message uniform.

What do you think? Are marketers splitting into digital and non-digital camps? Why aren't marketers embracing mobile, and what would get them to?

Something you’re dying to know about the state of marketing and communications? You can now ask our collaborators a question here.

You can collaborate with us and get exclusive access to information like this here! To hear discussion about tough questions like these, check out our panels on marketing channels at Incite Summit East


comments powered by Disqus